Dec 4 2006, 04:29 PM
Thanks Mandi!!! That is really helpful. Sorry about the stress though. I was totally thinking my point allotment was way bigger than it actually is, which is bad, but now I can regroup, which is good.
I understand exactly what you all are saying, I like points to keep track of quantities of food, grazing, etc. but no dieting regime can rule your life without diminishing its quality.
Good luck everyone!
Dec 4 2006, 05:13 PM
Wow. I ate way over those points allotments when I was on WW and lost 60 pounds. Maybe it depends on metabolism? It's been over 4 years since I went to WW, so maybe they've changed the points allotments. When I weighed 280, I ate 34 points a day plus flex points and I lost weight. I tried WW several times (going to the meetings, the whole thing). It never worked. I hated the pressure of the weigh in and the "points nazis" as Princess Dander called them. However, one day I decided I'd had enough of being huge, so I decided to follow the program without going to meetings. It worked really well, and I lost 60 pounds in about 9 months. I exercised (walking) and watched what I ate using the points system, and I've kept within 5 pounds of my lowest weight for over two years. Now I pretty much eat like a normal person...WW really helped me to learn what to eat and how much. It's a great program, but those meetings are definitely not for everyone.
Dec 4 2006, 05:20 PM
If you wish to follow a kind of open ended points plan, but want to avoid the "points nazis", you can still find the structure you get and a weekly weigh in with an organization that's not tied to any one particular corporation like WW. It's called TOPS--Take Off Pounds Sensibly--and they're community based. There are chapters all over the place in North America. You can google this group on line and see if one meets near you.
They do a weekly weigh in, and a kind of weekly meet-in where you can chat with others, or talk about how you did, or plan group trips or whatever. They cost a fraction of what WW charges too, simply because they're usually just paying for the meeting room rental and possibly the cost of a water cooler or coffee or tea.
That might give you breather if you like to have some structure and support on your weight loss goal, but aren't keen on aligning yourself with WW any further than their diet plan. TOPS isn't so concerned on how you're doing it(often there'll be people doing WW points, others doing Atkins, or Juice for Life, or anything else that people read about and want to use--they're more about providing morale support, motivation, hashing out problems everyone struggles with.
Dec 5 2006, 10:54 AM
Hi everyone -
Hoping I can just jump right in. I've found the message boards on the WW site to be cliquey and full of way too conservative people for my comfort, so I'm glad this topic is here.
Anyway, I lost 71 pounds using WW online (I don't like meetings, either) a few years ago, but I've gained about half of it back.
I've really been struggling this time. I just ate four cupcakes, for example, right after weighing myself. I think part of the problem is that other people in my household want their junk food and think it's unfair when I don't want that crap in the house.
Also, I think I'm just WW fatigued, tired of having to count points for nearly three and a half years. But NOTHING but counting points has ever worked for me.
The good thing is that I actually journaled the cupcakes and have flex points to spare since it's early in my week.
Anyway, sorry for rambling. I'm just glad BUST WWers are here!
Dec 5 2006, 12:37 PM
I did WW online, not for the community but for the tools, but frankly, I cannot bear to see that little frowny face when I enter my weight and see how much I have gained. Maybe when I am down to what I weighed the last time I used the program I will feel fortified.
What I have been doing lately is just going over my food at night and counting up the points that I ate, because otherwise I get all itchy and stresed about individual points. I guesstimate on things I don't really know, but generally stick to things I already know the point count of.
I think I am probably not drinking enough water though - it's harder when it's cold!
Dec 10 2006, 08:25 AM
a week before yesterday, i gained 2.4.
yesterday, i lost .6
i've been following the "good health guidelines" and taking some of the supplements suggested by cha cha, namely the omega-3 and b-12. i am also taking a one-a-day vitamin. i feel that i'm seeing positive affects of the vitamins. they have helped to regulate my digestive system, and i also feel that i have more energy. i did really well last week, food-wise, but was dissapointed at my small loss. my weigher told me that sometimes when you start something new or make changes, they take a week or two to catch up with you. then, the ladies at my meeting told me that i am too hard on myself, that i should feel proud of my changes this week and stop beating myself up.
last night i had this terrible body image moment. i don't have many of those. even when i weighed 50lbs more, i didn't have many poor body image incidents. we were getting ready to go to a christmas party, and i put on the outfit that i'd planned, and my stomach just looked ridiculously fat in it. like you know in what not to wear, when stacey and clinton teach people how to dress for their bodies? the outfit that i chose wasn't giving me any help! and i made the comment, how is it that i wasn't this fat last year, but i weighed more? the folks at my meeting have a point.
how did everyone else do?
Dec 11 2006, 04:41 AM
Pink, you should definitely give yourself a pat on the back for incorporating those changes into your regime. After all, you've already noticed that your digestion is better, and you still had weight loss! It's so easy to get caught up in the numbers here and not pay attention to the larger picture, which has a lot more to do with restoring your health and using this as a means to live a fuller life.
I hate drinking water, but it's easier to do when you consider what an impact it has on making your metabolism speedier. Especially if you're doing a higher protein-type diet: the more water you drink, the more weight you lose.
Dec 17 2006, 04:47 PM
I gained .2 this week. I was a little off due to some chocolate consumption. My BF went to the meeting with me. It was helpful for him since he plans meals/buys groceries around here as well. This is going to be a big week and it could get nasty. I won't be able to have dinner til 9 tomorrow night (will bring afternoon snacks- a nectar bar and fruit), and on Thursday I have both a breakfast and lunch event. At the lunch I can get a salad, but for the breakfast, I think I'd better eat ahead of time and just have a reasonable snack and coffee unless I can find out what we're having ahead of time and plan ahead.
I'm still taking my vitamins. With the new WW configuration, I get 2 extra points. How did everyone else do with that?
I am not an exerciser. I do have a WW DVD that is ok b/c it has 20 min workouts. Exercising is the last thing I want to do after work. My BF recommended that I exercise before work. Do you think I should? Do you think that it would help with all the possible point mayhem this week?
Dec 17 2006, 05:12 PM
I think it would! And it will make you feel a lot less "guilty" about actually indulging in some of the huge amounts of food which will be everywhere this week.
Doing it before work is a bit of a juggling act for some people, though. But I bet you'd feel so much better at work.
Jan 2 2007, 09:36 AM
hi, i'm planning on counting points again, and i thought i had all the materials - dining out book, point counter/slider, etc. - but i can't find everything! any suggestions about where to buy those few things? will i get it all if i start going to meetings? how do you all feel about the meetings, anyway?
thanks, and any words of encouragement are welcome as well!!!
Jan 2 2007, 10:35 AM
nickclick, it might be worth re-joining again, to get all the materials - especially if you ever decide you want to do ww online. they're offering free registration for a limited time (so you just pay for the weigh-ins).
i've only lost significant weight when i've attended meetings semi-regularly. but that's just me. forking over the dough has a positive psychological effect with me.
Jan 2 2007, 06:14 PM
well, i was totally off the wagon over the break. the good news is that the boy and i have joined forces to feel healthier and look cute for our wedding and beachy honeymoon in april.
i exercised this morning, met all the good health guidelines, and the only junk i had was a hot chocolate. i did not, however, count the points on anything. that would probably be a good idea.
Jan 3 2007, 07:11 AM
I thought WW was opening up access to their web materials free of charge for a limited time. Wouldn't those points materials be available on the site as well?
Jan 3 2007, 08:27 AM
yes it looks like there's a free trial week to use WW online, but i want to bring the points slider thingy to the supermarket, plus i'm online mostly at work, so not so great for nites and weekends.
i dunno, i guess i'm just being cheap, and when i did WW before i hated the meetings; they were old lady snorefests from what i remember.
Jan 3 2007, 09:28 AM
I do not blame you one bit, nickclick. The WW meetings used to make me cringe. 90% of the time was spent talking about how many points are in a bite of a Tim Horton's doughnut, or in a Big Mac. Or pushing crazy food like aspartame and butter flavoured margarine, as in "Spray TONS of it on your popcorn!" Or selling WW foods that were just paltry faux food imitations of real junk food, such as their snack bars. Fack. I ran into a nutritionist who had joined up to drop a few pounds at one of those meetings, and she was practically in tears of frustration at the way food was being discussed. What's the point of telling people to eat crap? Why not tell them they can go to restaurants, but they deserve better ones than MacDonald's and Tim Horton? There are so many great options but they were never discussed. Just a lot of bad habits being perpetuated there, and no really useful information that would make staying on the program easier so that more people would be successful with the points plan. They tell you the meetings are crucial, but they deal with peoples' frustrations with the program there so poorly.
There is a formula used to figure out the points on the slider thingy, but I don't know what it is exactly. I do agree that points thing is really useful and it also helps to have one of those booklets detailing the points for different foods.
Jan 3 2007, 03:06 PM
thanks again chacha.... my bf is going to check ebay for that stuff. we're in it together so that's all the support group i'll need. and you busties too of course!
Jan 3 2007, 04:00 PM
i signed up for weight watchers online monday night after seeing the commercial for a free week. i was excited to track my points when i got home from work yesterday...but i was ALREADY 14.5 points over my allowance for the day...bummer. i had canteloupe for dinner.
today i did a little bit better - have 1.5 points left for dinner. i'm gonna have baby spinach with fat free italian dressing and a small cup of veggie soup.
it seems like it'd be really easy to get obsessed with counting points, which i hope doesn't happen to me. any tips for keeping it in perspective?
Jan 3 2007, 05:47 PM
I don't know if this is any help, but I've adopted this take:
If I can't dance at the revolution, it ain't my revolution.
In other words, losing weight--especially if you're taking off a lot of weight--is akin to creating a revolutionary way of relating to food, one which for me involves some self-determination. If I can't eat the very best foods I can find, creatively prepared, and delicious, even if I do have to change the amounts I eat or the way I live, then damn it, it has to be fun for me. Enjoyable.
I should be able to go out with friends, or go to dinner parties and restaurants, without being the person at the party who railroads everything because of her diet. I understand that the points aspect is all about limits and needs, as opposed to just fulfilling "wants" or eating unconsciously. But if the points become an obsession, then really no change is being made on a core level. So it's not worth doing.
I guess my point is: decide what you really, really want to accomplish with the WW plan, more than just losing the weight, and use it as a tool to do that. Then, stay focused on that larger, important goal, and not on the tool you're using to accomplish it.
Jan 3 2007, 06:43 PM
75% of the meetings i've attended were much more about becoming more mindful of one's behavior, and changing for the better. like, in my case, focusing on portion control, so i can enjoy the good stuff, only in moderation. if i want a beer, i'm going to have a guinness and not a farking amstel light. but i'll eat lighter & exercise the next day. the same with ice cream. and really good cheese. it doesn't have to be about denial.
maybe i've just gone to good meetings and experienced decent leaders. *shrug*
you can easily get obsessed with the points. i know i have. but if you stick with it for a few weeks, you get to know your portion sizes and points automatically, and then you can think about it less. it can get easier.
Jan 3 2007, 07:21 PM
thanks for the advice.
also, the ww boards are weird. most of the low-point food the people on there are suggesting sounds empty and void of nutrients. but i do understand just wanting to fill up on something salty...
hope to check in here again soon
add another thread to my bust regulars...
Jan 4 2007, 08:36 AM
all i remember from going to the meetings was someone's tip about smearing a light coating of lowfat peanut butter on a chocolate rice cake to replicate a reese's peanut butter cup. good tip, but i guess i was hoping to bring home more than that. my probs lie more with portion control and choosing when to splurge, ie guiness over amstel light (totally, mandolyn). keep checking in, laurenann, and keep us up on your progress. i'll do the same!
Jan 4 2007, 11:03 AM
See that? Low fat peanut butter on chocolate flavoured rice cakes was what I was getting, too. Not to belabour anything (yeah, I'm belabouring), but you'd end up eating food that not only wasn't real, it would actually deplete nutrients from your diet and your body--forcing you to feel even more hungry and deprived. So then you'd "cheat", and feel like you'd failed, and that's when it would all fall apart for many people.
Why not give information on how to rev up metabolism and give yourself room for more points by suggesting exercise (since the vast majority of the people in my groups admittedly weren't exercisers!)--and/or an occasional, REAL piece of chocolate? Why not suggest some of the best chocolate out there, in a quantity befitting the points plan, since good quality chocolate is full of anti-oxidants, trace minerals, and (like many substances used as drugs for thousands of years) plenty of chemicals to make you feel good and satisfied? Why not take the opportunity to give people a chance to feel like they're expanding their knowledge of the foods they "can" have, in moderation, so that they can learn how to incorporate them into a lifestyle that's more inclusive of various options, instead of more restrictive?
That way people would feel like they've earned a piece of something delicious and real, they're eating something that's good for them, and they are never restricted from having something they want that's also good for them, in moderation. Isn't that what the whole program's supposed to be about?
Jan 6 2007, 03:35 PM
we have a new scale in the house! i am glad because stepping on the scale each day motivates me. i did pretty well this week, eating and exercise-wise. i didn't count points, though, i just worked on getting back in a schedule and sticking to healthy meals. i also worked out every morning before getting ready for the day and took vitamins.
so, starting tomorrow, i go back to the tracker. tonight i'm planning our meals for the week and i'll put them in the tracker ahead of time, which helps.
good luck to us all. xo
Jan 7 2007, 08:04 AM
today i need to decide if i want to keep weight watchers or cancel after the one week free trial. hmm...
Jan 7 2007, 09:16 AM
I had a really great leader and group when I was in WW this summer - she was really good about talking about the more emotional and behavioral aspects of food and weight loss. And the people who regularly attended were really cool. I think it helped that it was at the YWCA in a really diverse, progressive neighborhood. I stopped doing it when I came back here for school and there isn't a convenient meeting place. However, I might just suck it up and start going to the inconvenient place, if the leader is good. It really did help. And now that I'm back in my unhealthy-grad-student ways, I need it!
And yeah, the processed food part really bothered me. Even my cool leader had to shill those nasty products. However, I actually went all summer eating "real" foods and just counting the points for them: dark chocolate, whole-milk yogurt, real cheese, etc. This worked really well. Typically, I'd have yogurt with fruit and granola for breakfast, some sort of sandwich and salad for lunch, fruit and cheese for a snack, whatever for dinner and...my favorite part: half a cup of gooood hagen daaz (sp?) chocolate ice cream with berries. I was always within points with that. I thin it'll be harder to do in the winter, when there's less fresh fruit. But there's always Florida oranges!
I lost about 15 lbs in 8 weeks this way. I imagine if I'd kept doing it, I would have leveled off to losing about one lb a week, which is fine with me. Anything faster feels a little weird to me.
For me, the accountability is really important. Having the meeting to go to gives me a bit of motivation when I'm thinking "how bad can one bag of chips be?"
Oh, and I stopped drinking diet coke, which I think had a big impact. However, now I'm drinking it again - i seriously think I have a dependency! :/
Jan 7 2007, 09:46 AM
Don't doubt it for a minute, coca cola and diet coke both create dependencies, both with the drug substances making up the drink and in the drug effects of aspartame on the body in creating a need for more sugar. It's best to just avoid aspartame laced drinks all together as you'll have a much easier time with cravings. And you'll avoid the other nasty effects of aspartame as well.
I agree the "accountability" aspect of the meetings is a huge draw, but I also think the support that comes from meeting with a group each week is key. If you think about it, one off-shoot of the problem of obesity is the kind of alienation it brings to those suffering from it (not to say that all the people in the WW program are "obese", exactly, but there is always a portion of the group is involved in making changes away from obesity). Many people with life-long weight problems receive very little support from their families and friends, who often "love" them but really don't "get" the weight issue with them and can be quite hurtful. Finding support from a variety of people who are changing along with you and share a lot of your past experiences as well as your goals for the future can be the only thing that makes the weight loss possible. So the meetings really should be about that support--helping people to make connections with others, encouraging people to live consciously in all their decisions and confront their own issues, especially the ones regarding food, and helping people build the kind of self-confidence they really need to live well. If the meetings just become all about how to trick yourself out of eating the food you want and selling junky processed WW food, then an huge opportunity becomes lost and WW subscribers are really just being used as a sitting market.
Jan 7 2007, 10:07 AM
pinkmartyr, you're inspiring me to start journaling again. let's try to do it together, ey?
what brand scale did you buy? my ancient taylor gives me three different weights each morning (and of course, i always go with the lowest, hee!). i could probably try a new battery, but i wouldn't mind splurging on a new one.
this week's goal is to cook at least two vegetarian dinners from the online ww recipes. (i find their online recipes a great resource, and one of the reasons i've kept my online subscription all these non-pt-counting months.) we've become so lax about dinners, and the kid's gone veggie now, so i truly need to get my ass in gear and start feeding him - and myself - better.
Jan 7 2007, 11:07 AM
lunasol- i, too, had a really successful summer. i was down to my lowest weight- 176. there are pictures of me where i look great. i had a more relaxed schedule, the ideal leader, and the ideal meeting time. now, its back to the grindstone, so to speak, and i find the decision to be healthier more of a challenge. my weight has gone up to 185.
i want to lose that 10 lbs over the next 3 months, just to satisfy myself and show that i can stick with something and be successful again.
mandolyn- i am all about journaling together with you. the brand of scale i bought is Taylor, also, but its a digital. we keep it in the kitchen. it was around $25 at target.
i do well at breakfast and lunch. the problem is snacking and chocolate, to which i truly have an addiction. i think of chocolate at least 10x a day i bet. of course, that is decreasing now that i am setting limits, and stopping to consider why i feel like i need to eat chocolate. mostly the answer is comfort or stress.
since i have implemented exercise successfully, my goal for this week is journaling and planning.
Jan 7 2007, 02:26 PM
The reason I quit going to meetings was that my old leader got sick and couldn't lead meetings anymore. My old leader was this awesome woman who ran her own business and was very funny and realistic. She talked about finding weight-loss solutions to fit your life, to eat real foods, and to be healthy overall, plus she talked about emotional eating and other food issues. She also was good about keeping us on time; she'd use her 30 minutes wisely to go over that week's lesson but still answer our questions. She had to shill the WW products too, but she tended to concentrate on the water mug or the cookbooks -- not the faux candy bars.
Her replacement, however, was all about what ChaCha noted -- how to trick yourself out of eating foods you really like and want by replacing them with crap made in a lab. She went into rhapsodies about Lean Cuisine's new paninis like they were created by Alton Brown or something. She always went way over the time (and I'm not the kind of person where I can devote an extra 20 minutes or more to some woman going on about how delish fake-grilled bread is) but the meeting where I finally quit was when this one woman in our group said she had a hard time drinking water. She didn't like not having any taste to it. So instead of coming up with a solution for her (apparently, WW will let you count half your water servings on noncaffeinated, noncarbonated beverages -- like hot or iced tea or Crystal Light or something) and talking about it, she went into this lecture about how that's too bad, because you just have to drink your water whether you like it or not. But at the same time, she's perfectly willing to tell people to eat fake roast beef sandwiches. I just couldn't do it anymore.
I have a Tanita scale that is pretty accurate and measures my body fat, if that helps, Mando. Oh, and lunasol, I'm going to try something similar to what you did over the summer. For the next two weeks, Martini and I are going to cut the following from our diet: alcohol, white rice, pasta, white breads (we only really eat whole grain, but I digress), sweets, chips, and crackers. We don't eat many processed foods, but we're going to skip them entirely -- in fact, I'm giving my Lean Cuisines to a friend because I think they do me more harm than good.
We're going to limit potatoes/sweet potatoes to once a week, and we're going to allow ourselves to have pizza, but only once a week and when we make it ourselves using a whole-grain crust that we like. It's kind of a modified South Beach/Mediterranean idea. After two weeks, we'll probably integrate alcohol and sweets like dark chocolate or better-quality ice cream in as a special treat. The one thing we're not cutting out is caffeine. I have a cup of coffee in the morning, and that's it. I don't drink soda. If coffee is my lone indulgence, I can live with that.
Jan 7 2007, 05:19 PM
did you used to have the lean cuisines for lunch at work? i would love to ditch them as well.
i wonder what others are having for lunch that aren't lean cuisines or other prepackaged foods? do you find that it is cost-effective?
Jan 7 2007, 05:45 PM
go sidecar! that sounds like a good plan, and it's great you have your friend joining you. restrictive plans don't work for me personally - I've done the phase 1 of south beach three times and every time i go right back into my old habits when i'm done. but if it works for you, w00t!
one thing about sweet potatoes: they actually are a glucose regulating food, despite the fact that they're so sweet. so even if you're cutting out a lot of the starches, you may want to actually eat more sweet potatoes. EDIT: what i meant to say is that they help regulate your glycemic levels and thus help you avoid those nasty insulin spikes.
chacha, you're so right about the companionship aspect of WW. i realized while i was reading your entry that that was a hige factor for me this summer - i really liked the people who went to my meeting and looked forward to going every week. there was even this woman there who works in my field and i really look up to. so that was very motivating.
Jan 7 2007, 06:18 PM
blech, i haaate lean cuisines and other junk like that. this week - on the weight watchers one week trial - i ate a cup of cambell's healthy request soup, fat free yogurt, a piece of fruit, and a few whole wheat crackers for lunch. one day i had some laughing cow cheese instead of the yogurt.
i think i am gonna cancel weight watchers, just 'cause it's like $15 a month and i already spend $60 for the gym. but i learned a few things this week, and one is what to bring for lunch. i love soups in the winter. today i bought soy ginger broth, baby spinach, eggs, and whole wheat soba noodles to make my own soup. i'm gonna make a big pot and bring it for the week.
Jan 7 2007, 06:36 PM
those sound like good lunches, laurenann. i am sooooo bad at bringing lunch. i need to come to terms with the fact that i will never make lunch in the morning. i always procrastinate in the morning and don't have the time. i think this week i will commit to making my lunch in the evening. yes. that is my resolution for this week: i will assemble my lunch at night before i go to bed!
by the way, does anyone else read weightloss/health blogs? i have a few that i read which are really good and motivating, but i'd love to find some others.
Jan 7 2007, 08:37 PM
Well, luna, Martini is my husband and I think in the past, when I've tried to eat better, he hasn't, and it's hard to eat different diets in a two-person household! But he's put some weight on the last couple years, and he's in it with me this time, too. As far as restrictive diets, there's no way I could do South Beach full on -- the first two weeks involve giving up dairy, bread, fruit and caffeine, and all that would be a hell no. The only reason we're limiting sweet potatoes is that the two of us will eat them at least twice a week, if not more -- we'll make fries with them (baked in the oven, but still) or put them in our slow cooker, or mash them.
I started taking Lean Cuisines to work for lunch when I was in a hurry in the morning. But I think that they have two problems for me -- one is the sodium is too much. The other is that they're so low-calorie that I don't eat enough, and then two hours later I'm starving and hitting the free cookies on our conference table. I'm going to go back to salads (lettuce, shredded carrots, bell peppers, precut grilled chicken, blue cheese), sandwiches (probably whole grain bread, a slice of cheese, lettuce, mustard), and soup.
Pinkmartyr, I find that buying lettuce, bread, presliced cheese, bell peppers, and lunchmeat at my grocery store is probably about the same price I'd spend on Lean Cuisines for a week (assuming they are $2.50-$3.50 apiece and you eat one a day). The only issue is time, and I can make myself get up 10 minutes earlier. Bear in mind, I shop mostly at a Mexican market and a locally owned deli, so prices are pretty low for me (bell peppers at my market are usually about $1-2 a pound).
God, I'm so long-winded!
Jan 8 2007, 07:17 AM
Long winded? When someone asks for suggestions or information, they're truly happy to get "long winded" responses. How can you answer the question otherwise?
If you find you're eating too much chocolate, here are a couple of suggestions to cut the cravings down:
1. Allow yourself regular but limited amounts of really good quality chocolate. The poor quality stuff is mostly sugar, trans fat, colouring, milk and milk solids, and artificial flavours--and those ingredients are just the food ingredients. There are an awful lot of "acceptable limit" ingredients in poor quality chocolate that you will want to avoid (insect parts, debris from raw processing that isn't done exactingly, etc).
You can count points for good chocolate, and the best quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa and fat content is loaded with anti-oxidants, trace minerals which support the heart, and the magical properties of chocolate which elevate mood and actually make you healthier all around. Consciously treat yourself to the best type and you won't feel like you're eating bad food or ruining your diet or your resolve.
Some good brands: Green and Black's, Dagoba, Ecco Bella's Health by Chocolate, Paul Newman's Organic; and others on this board have mentioned local chocolate producers who mix the chocolate with various real spices and foods to create wonderful combinations. All using premium quality ingredients. Try to find organic and fair trade producers, they usually hold themselves to a much higher standard of purity and quality.
2. Find a trace mineral supplement to take daily, and then take it regularly (one I know of that you might be able to find in the US is Allergy Research Group's Trace Mineral supplement). Chocolate cravings signify all kinds of deficiencies which aren't being met, but the trace minerals are definitely lacking.
3. Add magnesium to your diet. We're all told to eat more foods with calcium, but you can't assimilate that without magnesium; and since so many of us take in way more calcium than magnesium, we use up magnesium and end up depleted. The best form of magnesium to take as a supplement is magnesium citrate; and the best way to take that is in powder form, dissolved in a small amount of hot water.
Magnesium Phosphorica tissue salts in a 6X potency are great too, very highly absorbable and very helpful if you also suffer from cramps. Chocolate cravings often take place because of a lack of magnesium, so if you've got enough you'll find these easier to control.
Jan 8 2007, 01:41 PM
Hey folks! I recently made a decision (not a resolution) to change my life, get health and stay healthy. My dad passed away a couple of months ago from diabetes complications (after having diabetes-related health problems for years: blindness, trouble walking, heart problems, etc.). It was a huge wake-up call. Everyone on his side of the family has Type II, and all developed it in their late twenties/early thirties (I'm 33 now). And, I'm about 100 pounds overweight. It's time to make a change, or die. Literally. Plus, I'm starting to have my own health problems because of my weight, and general unhealthiness--knee and hip pain, back pain, foot pain, incontinence, etc.
So, I generally get on this huge kick, starve myself and workout non-stop for a few weeks, eventually eff it up, and then forget it. Not this time.
I was going to join WW online, but then heard about another webiste that's similar (and FREE!). It's called www.sparkpeople.com. They don't use points, but you can still track your meals, and see if you're in the ranges that you should be for your current weight, goal weight, amount of exercise, and target date. They also have recipes, message boards, articles, etc. Has anyone tried it?
I started 1/3 at 241 pounds. My goal is to lose 100 pounds by April 10, 2008 (the day I turn 35).
Jan 8 2007, 02:50 PM
Sorry to hear about your father, Superscience; I think it's wonderful that you're inspired to make some good changes.
OOOh!! A free board!! Thanks so much for posting that, superscience lady. I know your 35th birthday celebration is going to be wonderful, cause you'll be celebrating it all, weightloss and another year of having really lived.
I posted some information on supplements that can really help on another thread
that make life much easier when you're watching what you eat, including a couple for people who are concerned with things like hypoglycemia, diabetes type II, sugar sensitivities/cravings and hyperinsulinemia. Or, at the very least, keeping you from craving stuff by satisfying any of the nutrient needs which might be behind them (just mentioning it because you wrote about your own concerns and the concerns of other members of your family). Hope some of the information is useful to you if you can use it; but in any case, go superscience!
Jan 8 2007, 04:32 PM
(((superscience))) i'm so so sorry about your papa. i can only imagine how heartbreaking it was for you to watch his health deteriorate.
but can i also say, i'm excited to see you in here! and color me impressed with your slow-and-steady, reasonable goal. that's the only - and best - way to do it. truly. the main thing is not to let minor setbacks get to you. i just read an article in prevention magazine about the two chicks who lost all that weight on the biggest loser ... don't laugh, there were some very good tips! ... one of them being, if you fall off the wagon, don't wait for tomorrow or monday to get back on, get back on track immediately. i'm a big procrastination 'ho, so i'm going to try to follow this advice from now on.
i signed up for sparkspeople one day, on a whim, but then i realized it was exactly like ww online. and since i'm a horrid lazy creature of habit, and so used to the ww tracker, i decided to just stick with ww. do let me know how you like it - especially if it has sane, intelligent people on its message board.
lunasol, please share the other weightloss blogs/sites you read? i can use all the motivation i can get!
sidecar, i'm in awe of your new plan. i could give up everything (temporarily) but the crackers. i could very easily LIVE on cheese & crackers!
pink, i haven't journaled yet. (see procrastination admission above.) i suck. i don't know why it's so hard for me to take that first step, especially when i know keeping a food journal works for me. and also especially since i'm paying for this each month (which is also incentive, stupid as it sounds). kick my ass, willya?
Jan 8 2007, 04:57 PM
Happy New Year! It's your resident non-WW loser here.
I think it's great that we have this space where we can lean on each other and be supportive. I don't talk about it much IRL because I'm not counting calories, I quit my gym (OOH how SCANDALOUS!), and because I don't need family telling me that I'm pretty the way I am (gee, thanks, but I'm going to be smoking hot then once my 50-lb. fatsuit is thrown into the bonfire) and gee, why don't I have another piece of pie while we talk about how "well" I carry my extra weight? Yeah. So I'm glad yinz* are here.
I pretty much maintained my weight over the holiday season, but now I'm ready to rock & roll.
OH! But how, you may ask, do I know I maintained my weight? Well, because I broke down and bought a scale! My first one ever. It's silver and digital and awesome (Mando, it's a Homedics and I got it at Bed Bath & Beyond and with their 20% coupons they send out, I think it was $30-ish). I really thought I was going to go through life without ever owning a scale. And now that I have one? So much better as far as keeping me in line. I can't believe I'm typing this.
Still laughing about Mando's Amstel Light comment... if i want a beer, i'm going to have a guinness and not a farking amstel light. Ain't that the truth, Ruth!
THE KID IS VEGETARIAN NOW, Mando?! Wow. That's awesome. Hey, let me know if you ever want me to send you recipes -- I've amassed a lot of cookbooks in the short decade I've been veg and I'd be glad to share them with you. Personally, I'm trying way hard to eat less cheese, because there are a million things to eat in the world that aren't cheese (to paraphrase Courtney Love/Hate).
Sidecar, that new WW leader sounds like a nightmare and the total opposite of your original group leader; I would have had a hard time staying quiet in that kind of atmosphere. Good for you for leaving, though. Sucky.
I try so hard to bring lunch to work because the caf is the suck. It's either dinner leftovers, soup that I've made over the weekend (Laurenann, exactly!), or a snacky lunch consisting of things like raw vegetables, hummos, pita, a fruit, yogurt, tabbouli, other salads, leftover lentils, a homemade muffin, whatever... The snacky lunch is the most interesting because of the variety, but the most cumbersome to schlep and put together. Still, totally worth it. And now I have a sinkful of dishes from last night, this morning, and tonight calling my name that I've got to get to when I finish writing this epistle.
Luna, I don't have any blog suggestions for you, sorry.
Supersci, I'm sorry to hear about your father. That must have been heartbreaking to see him deteriorate like that. There was a death in my family recently that was another wake-up call for me as well because she was obese and had a lot of health problems for as long as I could remember.
The only thing I know about Spark People is that I think in exchange for it being a free service, it takes the users' info submitted and use that data for some sort of research purposes -- this is what I've heard from other people, though, so I might be talking out of my fat as$ at this point. I'm just saying it's something to consider if you want your information to remain private. Then again, it's the internet; I tend to think nothing is really private.
Okay, apologies for the novella. Sheesh! Right, time for the dishes and then off to work up a sweat to Mary J. Blige, baby.
*that yinz is especially for SuperSci
Jan 8 2007, 08:04 PM
i, too, like long winded responses.
sidecar, i like the idea of making sandwiches on whole grain bread, and salads.
laurenann- soup is a great idea as well. all of those ideas sound do-able for me. i've already bought groceries for this week, but next week, i will really consider branching out- if only for a few days to start.
superscience- welcome to our party. my highest was 235, and i'm at 185 now. you can totally do it.
mandolyn- you had better go track right now. if either of us expect to be healthier we need to honor the commitments we've made to ourselves. tonight i ate way too much. i had a 12-hour day at work, and got out for dinner- i had a reasonable portion of chinese food, but brought leftovers home, which i promptly ate as soon as i got here. i was feeling hungry, but i should have had something else instead. i think i was eating as a way to unwind, when i should have had some fruit, water, and taken a bath.
chacha- your supplement advice has been really helpful to me thus far (i am still taking the multivitamin, B12, and omega). i am going to look into these others.
Anyone heard of PushTV? Its online. You fill out a profile and they send you customized personal training DVDs plus cardio DVDs every two weeks. Its $25/month. I'm going to see if I can swing it.
Jan 8 2007, 09:19 PM
hey everyone, i just started in the healthy thread, and i am not sure if this ones for me since i just started nutrisystem however i did see something about guiness and amstel that made me laugh. I am not sure if anyone saw the ad campaigns but, guiness has just 125 calories in a regular serving as opposed to a regular non-light beer having almost 200. its only about 25 cals off the light beers you can buy so go ahead and keep having your guiness! it has lots of iron as well;)
Jan 8 2007, 10:42 PM
See, mandolyn, my problem is that I could totally live off cheese, crackers, and beer, and thus my current state! I'm not giving up crackers/booze/etc forever; just two weeks to kickstart things.
Lunasol, the only weight loss online thing I know of is hungry girl, and she's crap. All of her emails are like, "Love strawberry shortcake? Well, try my Super-Awesome Rockin' Strawberry faux-cake!" which would involve strawberries, fat-free whipped cream and, like, light Wonder Bread. Because angel food cake would be so much worse for you. *eye roll* Blech. (BTW, I made that recipe up, but I'm not too far off
.) Occasionally, she has some good tips but she's way more concerned with finding fake calories.
I went to the gym this morning and had a big salad for lunch. Very proud of myself.
Jan 9 2007, 06:22 AM
I had no idea about that Guinness information, Katie, but I am not surprised you posted it, with your love of all things Irish. It is loaded with iron, it's true, and I find that it's almost like a meal in itself. I can never finish an entire serving of it.
But what a great "diet" meal, huh? A small glass of Guinness, a chopped sirloin patty, and a big salad. Sounds like the ideal version of a burger to me.
Just want to post that Epicurious.com has always featured a healthy eating section, but they've currently buffed it up so that you can input specific requirements when you do a search (for example, if you want to search for high fibre recipes, or high-fibre/low-fat, etc. etc.). Their recipes aren't all kitchen tested (which is a big put off), but for the most part, they work; and they focus on fresh, real ingredients you can put together either quickly or with more time (you can choose that too). Look here
for a trial run, if you like. If you're using points, they break down the recipe information so you can easily input it into your points slider or on-line Points calculator.
One last thing re: soups--if you can make home made stock from roasted veggies, chicken, beef, or fish (whatever you prefer) real broth based soups are so light but so nutrient rich. They are one of the best foods you can eat, let alone a good food to have when you're trying to lose weight. If you want to stay low fat, it's easy to make broths almost completely fat free (but leave a bit in, as it really does make a difference in both taste and nutrient absorption). If you can keep some on hand, broths really make meal preparation easy and fast.
Jan 9 2007, 09:11 AM
Hi all, raisingirl suggested I pop in here and join you so here I am.
I posted in the becoming healthy thread a couple of days ago about wanting to be healthier, lose weight and have a new body but my doctor told me to lose weight today. Apparently I have nerve irritation caused by fluid retention caused by weight gain; apparently this can be dangerous if left untreated. Currently I'm in a fair amount of discomfort as it's affecting my hands, I'm righthanded and its affected most, it's cramping and tingling and it worries me. Yeah, so that's my wake up call.
My target month is August (beach holiday) and I, ideally, want to be down a couple of dress sizes (roughly lose however much I've put on within the last year - I don't have scales so not sure my poundage). However, I'm taking it slowly; as said in the healthy thread I'm really unfit (also a concern - I'm out of breath easily and quite wheezy recently) so building my stamina up slowly. TBH, I think any exercise, however small, with have an impact on me as it's better than none, at least I hope that will be the case! Weekly walks with my friend kinkykatykins -who is also intent on becoming fit- and a chi ball class and some yoga are the things I'm taking up.
I'm cutting out alcohol for a while which should be easier now the festive period is over (I drank a lot of wine), substituting skimmed for semi-skimmed milk, drinking herbal teas instead of caffeine, no fizzy drinks... that's the little things I've been doing over the last week or so but I really need to tackle my diet. I have no problem with salads except that it's cold out! Soups would be great but I'm not a big cook (I try). I'm trying to eat fish whenever possible... Cheese is definitely going to be my weakness.
Do you think it would work to be healthy all week and not so healthy at the weekends? The weekend (not all) is when I see the boy and we're not so much about the healthy eating when together (or apart, for that matter) although he knows how important this is to me and as it's affecting my health now he'll probably be the one counting my calories!
(((superscience))) I'm sorry about your dad. Diabetes has been my big worry recently with my symptoms (but then I'm a hypochondriac) but if there's history it's so important to be careful, especially if it means something now. Also, you do not look like you'll be turning 35 next year! I put you at your mid twenties!
mando, kudos to Danny and it will be good for you too, to share his meals and as an incentive - your boy needs good, hearty meals! I'm not veggy but personally love veggy food (essentialy any meals without meat) and eat a lot of them when I can.
Off to have a bowl of cereal (supposedly two bowls of cereal and a balanced meal for a fortnight will ensure you drop a dress size). I don't go in for fad diets or cutting essential food groups out but this sounds like a good kick start.
Jan 9 2007, 12:03 PM
Thanks, everyone! It was cathardic to post here yesterday, and 'come clean', and then all the sweet notes back were just fantastic.
I'm feeling really good! I'm doing well, and making healthy choices, and even though it's only been a week, I can already feel some things changing. For instance, I used to never eat breakfast (and sometimes not lunch either, but then gorge at night), and now I'm actually hungry for breakfast, and have begun to see which foods work best for me, in what portions, and when. I'm enjoying planning my meals out, and making stuff that tastes great, and is also low in calories and fat.
Now I need to add in the exercise. I'm nervous about it because I'm really out of shape, and also have some problems with my feet and knees. I work for a university, and can use their gym for free (and even bring a guest!), so I just need to do it. I know it'll probably be fine once I get over the anxiety, and just go.
I emailed a girl who's also in Pittsburgh from SparkPeople, and asked her if she'd like to be my gym buddy. We'll see.
Hope yinz* all are doing great!
*raisingirl--you're the best!
Jan 9 2007, 12:05 PM
FWIW, bunny, I'm careful about what I eat during the week and then relax at the weekends. I've been doing this for almost a year now and it seems to be working reasonably well. (Big exception is the holidays just past, where everyday was self-indulgent day!) My reason for this is similar to yours; I live with my mister but we really only eat together at the weekends. I don't want to be all 'oh, I can't eat that' when he offers to make a thai green curry.
I need to get healthy and fit again after the aforementioned indulgence of christmas and NYE. I just had the nicest spicy chicken and butternut squash salad as an early dinner. I can live with sticking to food like this!
ETA: Supersci, I love breakfast; it's how I bribe myself to get out of bed in the mornings. Right now I have porridge in the morning: reasonably healthy (although I do put butter on it, oops). Good luck on the gym. I was the same before I went to my first class: the angst about it was worse than the class itself. Also exercise is good for so many things; it helps you sleep better, gives you more energy etc.
(The above is me trying to convince myself to go to that new all-over fitness class later this week...)
Jan 9 2007, 12:37 PM
I'm now thinking of doing a Pilates class too if there's space for me; so a long walk and 3 and a half hours of yoga, chi ball and pilates a week to kick-start me, as of next week.
Syb, I'm one of those people you don't understand who loves their porridge with sugar! I've found a healthy alternative in mango, though, and it tastes fabulous!
dinner for me tonight is papardalle with green pesto and sundried tomatoes, no marscapone - sniff.
I think I'll talk the boy into going for sushi this weekend (there's no good sushi places here so I take the opportunity of going down south when I can); sushi always makes me feel healthy and it's so filling! The boy isn't a fan but he is of the restaurant as he can eat teriyaki, katsu and noodles.
Jan 9 2007, 01:05 PM
Hey, all! I just got back from the gym...goal was to go twice last week, but only went once 'cuz I chose to go out with hubby and friend to brunch on Sunday before work instead of going to the gym. I'm OK with that; the Mr. and I aren't doing enough fun stuff lately. But this week, I'm going three times. Exercise is totally the key for me...I'm gonna do cardio machines only this month, then add weight training next month.
Superscience, I'm so sorry about your dad. My aunt just died from diabetes complications, as well...she had both legs amputated years ago, and would have very difficult times with infections. I bet your dad would be very proud to see you making healthy changes. We have rampant heart disease in our family (dad died of heart attack) and I try to think of that to motivate me.
I've got to check out sparkpeople.com...I use myfooddiary.com; it's nine bucks a month. I love graphs (nerd!) and pie charts and stuff...it has a bunch. And I like the clear-cut math approach of calories, and when I'm doing it online, I don't find it a pain much at all.
Geez, I wish I liked Guiness, seeing as how it's so good for you and all...hee. I love dark beer, but just can't get with the Guiness.
Mando, yay for Danny being veggie, and yay for you for supporting him. My friend's 16-yr-old recently did the same, and she has been trying a lot of new stuff for him. Such nice mammas.
Boy, I gotta say, though, I had pho bo at the Vietnamese place last night...ya know, it's the beef rice noodle soup that is such comfort food. And the broth has little bits all in it and glistening droplets of fat on the top...REAL broth. Yum. I just get that with the lean beef and forgo the egg rolls that I love so much. Oh well! I can totally live with that.
I do need to start eating breakfast all the time and cooking more. I'm totally out of those habits.
I love when this thread is really active with lots of new people!!!
Jan 9 2007, 01:27 PM
so, i'm not ww, but i need the motivation, and this thread seems to be a little more fast-paced than the "becoming healthy" thread so i hope it's okay if i butt in here from time to time
right now i feel like i'm procrastinating since i'm in a funny spot--i joined a gym a couple months ago; i was going pretty regularly before the christmas rush hit, and then i was too busy to go, and then i went to visit my family for a week, and then when i came back i caught this awful cold/flu that i'm just shaking off, and now that i'm starting to feel like i'm up to going to the gym again and not hacking up a lung and having to blow my nose every five minutes, my mom comes into town on thursday and i of course need to spend the time with her while she's here rather than at the gym. so--very bad timing. but, i've been eating *somewhat* healthily since the new year (had too much tartar sauce last night with my salmon, but generally doing okay) and as soon as i don't have a houseguest to entertain i'm getting back on track.
i'm in the 150 range right now (i seem to fluctuate about 4 or 5 lbs day to day, which makes keeping track of weight weird) which is not terrible except that i'm pretty short and small-boned, and was in the 130 range two years ago when i was riding my bike and walking everywhere. i think that's my "natural" weight and where i should be when healthy, so i'd like to get back there.
i'm not on any sort of plan--i signed up for sparkpeople ages ago but got frustrated with the lack of options in the food-tracking thingie (if anyone can tell me how to get around this that would be great)--but my goal is to go to the gym 3-4 times a week (1/2 hour-45 mins on treadmill/elliptical, plus weight machines) and to eat in moderation and as close to the source/least processed as possible. i'm the kind of person who would much rather eat a small amount of real butter than a regular amount of margarine, or a handful of raw cashews rather than a bag of chips (even though the nuts may have more fat).
anyway--this post is too long. but it would really help to have the kick in the ass to stick with this.
Jan 9 2007, 04:24 PM
People, please, relax! Butter IS healthy. Much healthier than margarine or crappy canola oil, or any commercially prepared bleached/deodorized/hexaned veggie oil that's been flavoured with MSG. It's as healthy as extra virgin olive oil, and actually a bit more necessary. You don't eat it as if it were a food group, with a big spoon and a bib and bread to soak up what you missed, you only use a small amount; so a little bit will not kill you and will actually give you some deliciousness.
I'm using that, real cheese, cocoanut oil every day, extra virgin olive oil, and cream every day and I'm losing weight, getting rid of a lot of nagging joint aches and pains that were beginning to really annoy me, and feeling a lot more energetic all together. The tiny amounts of the foods you think are rich and sinful you are all having--enjoy them. You will still lose weight. Promise!
Mouse, if you don't make time to go to the gym, you'll just never do it. It's just like that.
Amilita, if you don't like Guinness and you never will (but it is fabulous with some kinds of food), you can always treat yourself to some lovely wine. Since it's got a lot less calories than soda pop, and nothing as deadly as aspartame.